Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, March 24, 2018

Today is Saturday, March 24, the 83rd day of 2018. There are 282 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On March 24, 1958, Elvis Presley was inducted into the U.S. Army at the draft board in Memphis, Tennessee, before boarding a bus for Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. (Presley underwent basic training at Fort Hood, Texas, before being shipped off to Germany.)

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On this date:

In 1765, Britain enacted the Quartering Act, requiring American colonists to provide temporary housing to British soldiers.

In 1832, a mob in Hiram, Ohio, attacked, tarred and feathered Mormon leaders Joseph Smith Jr. and Sidney Rigdon.

In 1913, New York’s Palace Theatre, the legendary home of vaudeville, opened on Broadway.

In 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill granting future independence to the Philippines.

In 1944, in occupied Rome, the Nazis executed more than 300 civilians in reprisal for an attack by Italian partisans the day before that killed 32 German soldiers.

In 1965, Ranger 9, a lunar probe launched three days earlier by NASA, crashed into the moon (as planned) after sending back more than 5,800 video images.

In 1976, the president of Argentina, Isabel Peron, was deposed by her country’s military. British war hero Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery, 88, died in Alton, Hampshire, England.

In 1988, former national security aides Oliver L. North and John M. Poindexter and businessmen Richard V. Secord and Albert Hakim pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the Iran-Contra affair. (North and Poindexter were convicted, but had their verdicts thrown out; Secord and Hakim received probation after each pleaded guilty to a single count under a plea bargain.)

In 1989, the supertanker Exxon Valdez (vahl-DEEZ’) ran aground on a reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound and began leaking an estimated 11 million gallons of crude oil.

In 1998, two students, ages 13 and 11, opened fire outside Jonesboro Westside Middle School in Arkansas, killing four classmates and a teacher. (The gunmen were imprisoned by Arkansas until age 18, then by federal authorities until age 21.)

In 1999, NATO launched airstrikes against Yugoslavia, marking the first time in its 50-year existence that it had ever attacked a sovereign country. Thirty-nine people were killed when fire erupted in the Mont Blanc tunnel in France and burned for two days.

In 2015, Germanwings Flight 9525, an Airbus A320, crashed into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board; investigators said the jetliner was deliberately downed by the 27-year-old co-pilot.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush pledged to ensure “an outcome that will merit the sacrifice” of those who had died in Iraq, offering both sympathy and resolve as the U.S. death toll in the five-year war hit 4,000. The FBI said authorities had recovered the remains of two U.S. contractors, Ronald Withrow and John Roy Young, who were kidnapped in Iraq more than a year earlier. Actor Richard Widmark died in Roxbury, Connecticut, at age 93.

Five years ago: Just days after the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, on a previously unannounced trip to Baghdad, confronted Iraqi officials for continuing to grant Iran access to its airspace and said Iraq’s behavior was raising questions about its reliability as a partner. Rebels overthrew Francois Bozize, Central African Republic’s president for a decade.

One year ago: President Donald Trump and GOP leaders yanked their bill to repeal “Obamacare” off the House floor when it became clear the measure would fail badly. Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was convicted of hushing up child sexual abuse allegations in 2001 against Jerry Sandusky, whose arrest a decade later blew up into a major scandal for the university. (Spanier is appealing his conviction.)

Today’s Birthdays: Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti is 99. Actor William Smith is 85. Fashion and costume designer Bob Mackie is 79. Actor R. Lee Ermey is 74. Former Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire is 71. Rock musician Lee Oskar is 70. Singer Nick Lowe is 69. Rock musician Dougie Thomson (Supertramp) is 67. Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger is 67. Comedian Louie Anderson is 65. Actress Donna Pescow is 64. Actor Robert Carradine is 64. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is 62. Actress Kelly LeBrock is 58. Rhythm-and-blues DJ Rodney “Kool Kollie” Terry (Ghostown DJs) is 57. TV personality Star Jones is 56. Country-rock musician Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers) is 54. Actor Peter Jacobson is 53. Rock singer-musician Sharon Corr (The Corrs) is 48. Actress Lauren Bowles is 48. Actress Lara Flynn Boyle is 48. Rapper Maceo (AKA P.A. Pasemaster Mase) is 48. Actress Megyn Price is 47. Actor Jim Parsons is 45. Christian rock musician Chad Butler (Switchfoot) is 44. Actress Alyson Hannigan is 44. NFL quarterback Peyton Manning is 42. Actress Amanda Brugel (TV: “The Handmaid’s Tale”) is 41. Actress Olivia Burnette is 41. Actress Jessica Chastain is 41. Actor Amir Arison is 40. Actress Lake Bell is 39. Rock musician Benj Gershman (O.A.R.) is 38. Neo-soul musician Jesse Phillips (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 38. Actor Philip Winchester (TV: “Strike Back”) is 37. Actress Keisha Castle-Hughes is 28.